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Navy to Test Laser Weapon System Aboard San Antonio-Class Amphibious Warship

The U.S. Navy will evaluate a new laser weapon onboard a to-be-commissioned San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship in the fall, Defense News reported Wednesday.

The prototype Laser Weapon System will be used on the Portland amphibious vessel to evaluate the equipment’s system performance.

Capt. Brian Metcalf, program manager for LPD-17 and LX(R), said the service branch currently has no plans to integrate LaWS on either Portland, the future LPD-29 or the LX amphibious transport dock.

USNI News reported Wednesday the Office of Naval Research will host the laser weapon technology showcase at the Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii.

“It’s going to fit into what was originally the [Vertical Launching System] reservation on the ship … So they’ve got what I will call power modules that control the laser that will just fit in those open and reserve weight spaces, and then the laser itself gets just bolted on to the deck,” MetCalf told audience at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium.

The U.S. 3rd Fleet also selected Portland at the flagship for the RIMPAC international maritime exercise.

Portland is scheduled to undergo a commissioning ceremony in April and perform additional combat systems trials prior to its eventual return to San Diego, California.

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